In Botswana, the ResponsAbility investment fund is committed to financing the construction of the Bobonong (3MW) and Shakawe (1MW) solar power plants. Both facilities are being implemented by Sturdee Energy, an independent power producer (IPP) that is developing renewable energy in several countries in Africa, particularly in southern Africa.
ResponsAbility Investments will finance solar projects in Botswana through its Climate Fund. In this context, the independent power producer (IPP), Sturdee Energy, has just signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA). The aim is to sell its output to the state-owned Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) for the two solar parks with a combined capacity of 4 MW.
The facilities worth $5 million, are currently under construction in the towns of Bobonong (3MW), 393km from the capital Gaborone, and Shakawe (1MW), with a population of 10,000 on the Namibian border. The tender for these two solar power plants calls for Sturdee Energy to use local labour in the implementation of the plants, which will start commercial operations before the end of 2022.
According to the director of responsAbility Investments, these projects will avoid 344,255 tonnes of CO2 emissions. “We are delighted to support Sturdee and BPC in implementing these unique projects in Botswana to reduce reliance on fossil fuel generated electricity. The projects have benefited from leading technical, legal and environmental consultations in order to be built to global standards”, says Monya Bassingthwaighte.
Since its inception in 2003, the Swiss company responsAbility Investments has already invested more than $12 billion. Much of this money has gone into providing access to clean energy in several African countries, such as Botswana now.
The renewable energy rush
According to World Bank estimates in 2017, electricity access in Africa was 62.8%. At the same time, Botswana produced only 60% of the total energy consumed. The shortfall was made up by imports from South Africa and Zambia. In addition, 29% of the available electricity comes from the Morupule B coal-fired power station, which has a generating capacity of 600 MW.
To enhance electrification across the country, the Botswana government has launched a joint 5 000 MWp solar photovoltaic mega project with Namibia in 2019. The initiative is supported by the US government through the Power Africa initiative. Much of the electricity produced will be sold to neighbouring countries in southern Africa that have not yet been revealed. The third phase of the project’s implementation will have built solar parks that will provide 1,000 to 3,000 MWp.